Welcoming the Revd Dr Andrea Russell

Former solicitor turned priest and theological educator, the Revd Dr Andrea Russell, has been appointed Deputy Director of Mission (formation for ministry).

The Revd Dr Andrea Russell

The Revd Dr Andrea Russell

Andrea comes to the Diocese of Oxford from the Queen’s Foundation in Birmingham, where she is Co-Director for the Centre for Continuing Ministerial Development and Anglican Admissions Tutor.

Beginning her career as a solicitor and law lecturer, Andrea served as a Reader (Licensed Lay Minister), before ordination.

Andrea says she is very much looking forward to working with colleagues across the department to ensure that licensed ministry is not only open to all,  but that the structures and content – from initial exploration to ongoing ministerial development – enable all to flourish, and especially those from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.

“I am committed to inclusivity and diversity within society and the Church and seek to live, teach and minister with this in mind,” she says.

Andrea’s understanding of diversity was stretched three years ago during a trip to Sri Lanka, where she worked with students and staff at a theological college. “It gave me a more realistic understanding of being an Anglican in a very different culture (and where the Church is in a minority) and how socio-economic context shapes ministry as well as faith more generally.” She hopes to work with our links in Kimberley and Kuruman in South Africa and Nandyal in South India, to look at how their work can help us shape our aims and practice.

A member of the Ecclesiastical Law Society, Andrea has delivered presentations on Canon Law and Church Warden training. She was the keynote speaker at an Oxford Diocesan Church Warden training event last October.

With a concern for the environment, Andrea is trying to live more sustainably, using less plastic. She loves walking along the canal in Birmingham, seeing the trees and being by the water. Moving to Oxfordshire will mean she will have access to the Oxford Canal, the River Thames and the myriad of other waterways in the Thames Valley.

“I try to go to a book group once a month which I enjoy. I like reading, especially crime fiction and I am 10 chapters into writing my own whodunnit,” she says. Going to the cinema, the theatre and visiting National Trust properties, especially the tea rooms, are also among Andrea’s hobbies. During the lockdown, she has also started baking bread.

“I’ve never lived in Oxford, and I’m looking forward to exploring the Thames Valley area and working with lots of different groups,” she says.

Andrea has two grown-up daughters: Megan, a primary school teacher living in Sydney and Bethany, who has recently finished a Masters and is working for the conference centre at Queen’s.

She will take up her new post in January 2021.